The traditional Automobile Club de l’Ouest pre-race press conference, which aired today, provided several pointers as to the future of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and endurance racing.
Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, Richard Mille, president of the FIA Endurance Commission, Gérard Neveu, CEO of the FIA WEC and John Doonan, president of IMSA were among the speakers.
Peugeot’s return to the discipline in LMH was warmly welcomed, as was Alpine’s non-hybrid LMP1 entry in 2021, a rival for the Toyota Hypercar.
Pierre Fillon announced the name of the top class in Endurance, in which LMH and LMDh will be eligible and will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans: HYPERCAR.
IMSA president John Doonan lauded the valuable collaboration between IMSA and the ACO in finalising the LMDh regulations. Thierry Bouvet and Matthew Kurdock gave more detailed insights into the unique hybrid system designed by Bosch Williams Advanced Engineering and Xtrac. The first LMDh entries will be fielded in 2022. Several manufacturers have already expressed interest to IMSA.
The 9th season of the FIA World Endurance Championship will comprise six races, with a round at Monza for the first time, in July. The calendar is subject to change as the Covid-19 situation evolves.
MissionH24, the programme initiated by the ACO and GreenGT welcomes new partners convinced of the virtues of hydrogen in zero-carbon transport, Richard Mille and French automotive supplier Plastic Omnium, which is to provide the fuel tanks for the 2024 hydrogen category.
The conference also provided the opportunity to unveil the new H24Racing hydrogen-electric prototype. The new machine, the H24, is some 150 kg lighter than the LMPH2G, with improved aerodynamics. Team test driver Norman Nato believes the changes will make all the difference to racing performance.
Amato Ferrari, owner and founder of AF Corse, was presented with the 2020 Spirit of Le Mans award for his long-term involvement in endurance.
The 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans starts at 14:30 tomorrow, behind closed doors.
Prior to the race, at 13:05, Carlos Tavares, Chairman of the Managing Board of PSA, this year’s race starter, will complete a lap in the Peugeot 908. At 14:12, the LMPH2G, the first hydrogen-electric prototype, will precede the field on a demonstration lap led by Grand Marshal Emanuele Pirro.